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 Post subject: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 7:23 pm
Posts: 167
I appreciate not everyone will want to discuss but it would be interesting to know if there is a correlation between tutoring and results. We did tutor, albeit late in the day and also did some DIY tutoring with mum. DS didn't qualify for Pates but did qualify for Tommies and Crypt. I wonder how much difference tutoring made. I'm fairly certain it helps with the format of the paper and answers etc.

DD is adamant she doesn't want to even try but I believe her to be capable of giving it ago so although she is in year 4 still, this time I feel I need to plan ahead a bit more. DS is more compliant, if grumpy, and DD can be more wilful :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:41 pm
Posts: 19
I only found this forum in June after realising I should know a lot more about the CEM test to give my DD a chance. My DD had a recommended tutor from Jan this year - an hour a week. If you can see my very first post, you will also read my concern. The tutoring session was quite dull - Bond books and little input unless mistakes were made. The Tutor made DD study Bond from 6-7. We never got to finish 10-11 on any area! A lot of the later sessions were focused on old style VR and codes. Of course it may come up in the future, but it didn't this time (did it?).

After realising old VR was not the way to go, I purchased all the CEM material I could in June - we dabbled in CLOZE , NVR and CEM problem solving maths - again still having many books left over. DD still having tutor session but we would also spend an additional hour in the week from July to Sept doing the additional material. Bought Bond and CEM 11 plus papers for August - again we didn't finish them but DD scoring high 70-80's.

However, DD had a very high CAT score and was doing very well at school - especially at maths. Based on this year's exam, and from our experience, I would say that tutoring did not play a major part. I was there. But, what it did provide was a structured session where DD had to concentrate. It got her used to putting in effort, checking answers, learning new vocab from reading. Her problem solving skills will have been developed by learning all VR types. If we hadn't of purchased the other CEM material as well, I don't think she would have performed so well.

I don't think you can teach NVR - but you can practise and get quicker.

I feel that you can't go in to the exam without doing any practise, and if you can get your DC to concentrate at home for an hour or so a week then you should be fine doing it yourselves. But we couldn't miss a tutor session and that kept it a consistent study period. All depends on your DC and whether they need extra coaching in maths particularly.

I wouldn't have a tutor next time. My DD passed (phew) - but up until we got the results, I gave myself a very hard time that I hadn't given the new CEM style a lot of attention and had let her down.


Last edited by justbehappy on Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:31 pm
Posts: 34
No tutor here. I'm currently a stay at home mum so thought I would give it a go.

We started after the announcement of the new test (was it February?).

We went through the CPG CEM books for VR, Maths and NVR and we also used the 'exam papers'.

We probably spend 2-3 hours a week doing bits and pieces, not always specifically for the 11+, sometimes just a bit of maths or reading.


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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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DIY is still tutoring (and well done to you, my DCs and I would have killed each other :D)


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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:38 pm
Posts: 18
We know of a DD that had been tutored for years and didn't qualify for any of the GS and another DD that had no tutoring at all but was bright and got a place so maybe this test is more tutor proof! :D


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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:25 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Cheltenham
We started after the announcement in Feb too. DD went to a friend of mine who's a primary teacher and does a bit of tutoring on the side - not just for 11+ but for other things too. The tutor did a mix of things - I think most of the English and maths were from SATs papers, and then NVR from somewhere else. She did an hour a week most weeks in term time until the end of the summer, although we missed occasional weeks when it was inconvenient either for us or for the tutor. It was all kept quite low key - no homework from the tutor, no scores or anything like that, just having a go at some questions sitting with the tutor, and talking through which ones she'd got right and how to do the ones she'd got wrong.

We didn't do much over the summer holidays, but she saw the tutor a couple of times when we got back in September, and I got her to do the maths and English/VR CGP papers (the ones that are free to download) at the last minute when I suddenly realised the tutor hadn't given her any practice in filling in MC answer sheets. She found that the CGP maths was a lot harder than she'd been doing with the tutor and we were both in a bit of despair, but then she found the CGP English/VR paper much easier than she'd been doing with the tutor so we cheered up a bit. On the actual day she said the maths was much more like what she'd done with the tutor than the CGP paper and not too bad.

She got into the top 120 for HSFG. We didn't share with any other GS. I have no idea how much of that was down to the tutor. Some of it was very likely down to the English and maths teaching by her excellent teacher at school. I feel she had enough help from the tutor that she found the tasks in the exam accessible - my one big fear was that she'd get in there and discover all sorts of questions the like of which she'd never seen before and they'd be completely impossible for her. But I also feel that the tutoring wasn't too much - she still had plenty of time to have a life, and I feel confident that if she could get in on that level of support, then she's probably bright enough to cope when she gets there. I teach in a selective school, and always feel so sorry for the ones who have been intensively tutored to get in and then struggle when they arrive - they often end up feeling they are failures because they're at the bottom of the pile at our school, even though they'd have been above average at a comp. I knew I didn't want that for her.


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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
Posts: 2610
Can I just ask how you know which DC have been excessively tutored, DebsB?

Plus Scary mum is right. Home DIY is tutoring and the problem with all these discussions is the definition of tutoring.

i.e some would say a Dc who is provided with plenty of good quality reading material at home, read to from an early age and plays games like scrabble etc isn't tutored. Compare that to a DC in a home where there are no books, the t.v or DVDs are substituted for bedtime story and timetables are not pinned up on the fridge or sponge letters found in the bath. I could go on. Also remember not all primary schools are equal either.

Ultimately when a DC doesn't get the required scores you never hear the DP saying I wish I had done less prep. Re the argument about DC still not passing despite years of tutoring I agree. There are plenty out there, some because it went wrong on the day but many more because in my belief if the DC isn't really up to it all the tutoring in the world won't get them the pass they need in this highly competitive test.


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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:30 pm
Posts: 7
We started with a tutor in January, a bit later than most as we'd not really thought seriously about 11+ until DD stormed her CATS, to our surprise. A hour a week, missed a few weeks when we couldn't make it for whatever reason, did very little over the summer, mostly maths practice as that's DD's weak spot. I think there was value in it inasmuch as it meant DD didn't go blind into the test, and did learn a bit of exam technique - absolutely nothing she couldn't have learned from me or DH, to be fair, if she would only deign to listen to us, but she doesn't. :roll:

I'm very, very uncertain about the mocks she did. She did much better, percentage-wise, in one of the later ones than she did in any of the others, but still remained resolutely middle of the pack - despite this, her tutor said that particular test wasn't easier than the others. I don't see how that can make sense. My other concern is that DD's friend, who had consistently outperformed her in the mocks (I think, we intentionally didn't share results, but you pick stuff up along the way) very sadly didn't qualify. I don't think she just freaked on the day, so it does make me wonder just how accurate, or otherwise, the mocks were.


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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:31 pm
Posts: 34
scary mum wrote:
DIY is still tutoring (and well done to you, my DCs and I would have killed each other :D)



I said no tutor....not no tutoring :) :wink:

(Although my style of tutoring mainly consisted of me raising my voice, DS getting in a grump and not a lot being achieved by either of us!)


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 Post subject: Re: The tutor proof test
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:25 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Cheltenham
Tolstoy wrote:
Can I just ask how you know which DC have been excessively tutored, DebsB?


Well, I don't know, of course. But I'm aware that the amount of tutoring varies a lot. And I'm aware that some kids do well enough on the exam to get in, and then have a miserable time struggling to keep up right from the beginning of Y7 and for the whole time they're at the school. Maybe some of those children were just unusually lucky on the day of the test and did better than they normally would.

What I'm certain of is that the bottom of the academic pile at a selective school can be a demoralising place to be. Consider this actual conversation I had with a student in Y10:
Student: I'm useless at maths. I just can't do it.
Me: What grade are you hoping to get for your maths GCSE?
Student: A*
Me: Then you can't be useless at maths, then. You do realise that out there in normal schools, what most people worry about is whether they will manage to get a C in maths, not whether or not their A will have a star on it? If you were in one of those schools, you'd still be aiming for A* but you'd probably be in a top set for maths and think you were really good at it.

There are some students - lovely kids many of them, well behaved, try hard - who struggle so much that you just wonder how on earth they got in. I can't prove it, but I'm as certain as I can be without actual proof that if a child wouldn't have got in without lots and lots of tutoring, but has lots and lots of tutoring and as a result gets in, then that child is more likely to end up struggling than a child who gets in, or would have got in, with more moderate preparation. Note that I say "more likely" and not "certain". But I didn't want to take the risk with DD. If she couldn't get in with the level of tutoring I organised for her, I'd have preferred for her to go to a comp and shine there.


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